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Bud Light waters down, what's wrong with US capitalism?


By MoneySheep   Follow   Wed, 27 Feb 2013, 7:14am   881 views   39 comments
In San Diego CA 92115   Watch (2)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

I stopped drinking Bud Light about 3 years ago, now there is an explanation...

Anheuser-Busch merged with InBev in 2008. The company has sophisticated equipment that measures the alcohol content throughout the brewing process and is accurate to within one-hundredth of a percent. But after the merger, the company increasingly chose to dilute its popular brands of beer, including Bud and Bud Light Platinum. Excess water is added just before bottling and cuts the stated alcohol content by 3% to 8%.

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/budweiser-waters-down-its-beer-lawsuit-alleges-1C8566405

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  1. zzyzzx


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    1   7:16am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    I'm adding this to my list of reasons to drink Coors, or Miller.

  2. david1


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    2   7:32am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    So you're telling me I now have to drink between 13 and 33 Bud lights to be as drunk as I was when I used to drink between 12 and 32?

    Bastards.

  3. edvard2


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    3   8:21am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    zzyzzx says

    I'm adding this to my list of reasons to drink Coors, or Miller.

    The big beers are all the same to me: cheap watery swill. I for one like drinking real beer.

  4. zzyzzx


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    4   8:40am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Shouldn't the thread title be changed to

    Bud Light waters down, what's wrong with Belgian capitalism?

    From their webpage:
    http://www.ab-inbev.com/go/about_abinbev/our_company/ab_inbev_company_profile.cfm
    Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with American Depositary Receipts on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD)

  5. edvard2


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    5   8:44am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    david1 says

    So you're telling me I now have to drink between 13 and 33 Bud lights to be as drunk as I was when I used to drink between 12 and 32?

    No kidding. I had a friend who only ever drank one of those big watery beers and when I'd go over, I would be polite and drink what he had. The thing is that we would drink the stuff all day long and somehow I was never-ever drunk. It was like drinking water and it simply made me have to pee a lot.

    Then again, my favorite beers are usually strong quadruple Belgian style ales with anywhere from 9-14% alcohol. Drinking one of those is like drinking 4-5 of the swill beers. Hence why the swill beers to me are totally worthless.

  6. CaptainShuddup


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    6   9:01am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I quit drinking Budweiser over ten years ago, when they started that whole "Born ON Date" business. Acting like they were doing it to inform the public on how fresh their product is. But in reality it was a campaign to mask the fact that they started Flash Fermenting a process that effected the taste tremendously. I'd take a green old Budweiser over the new piss version of Budweiser any day.

    I quit drinking Budweiser and started drinking Presidente a Dominican Republican beer. And for a while it was the best (commercail)beer in America.
    Then in 2008 or so InBev bought out AB, at first the red blooded American in me was outraged how could this be. I was working for Bacardi at the time, and one of the Account managers that told me, that this was a great move.
    InBev didn't buy Budweiser for the beer or the name. In fact they were leaving the management as is and not touching a thing about Budweiser. They bought AB for the distribution. Distributorships in Ameirca are tough and closed, there will never be no more than what we have. So the only way to become a distributor in Ameirca is to acquire an existing one.
    Since the InBev acquisition, Ameirca now has a greater selection of beer that we never had until then. There are great beers from all over the world, that we would not have now, if not for InBev. Before them it was the same limited selection of American crappy beers, now even Gas stations, have a greater selection than most Package stores had pre InBev.

    I'm certain that this decision has nothing to do with the InBev management, and more to do with AB management decision. It's just another nail in a long series of nails in the piss water coffin that is Budweiser.

    If you enjoy any of these brands....
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InBev_brands
    thank InBev.

    Disclaimer I drank Budweiser exclusively for over 20 years.
    But now I realize it was only because I didn't like Miller products. Or Corona or Heineken our only other choices until InBev came along.

  7. Elwood P Dowd


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    7   9:08am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    I was kind of wondering why Annheuser-Busch bought out Rolling Rock. (Previously my favorite cheapie. FWIW, I thought it tasted funny even BEFORE I realized they had relocated from Latrobe, PA to St. Lous, MO.) I guess it is a race to the bottom in pilsners.

    Edit to add: Can't say I'm all that crazy about BUD, but does this REALLY merit a class action lawsuit? I mean its not like they were putting formaldehyde in the stuff. What grievous harm can Bud drinkers claim they suffered? Seems to me they had pretty good idea what they were getting when the bought the stuff. But I guess I'm behind the times.

  8. edvard2


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    8   9:16am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    If you are a beer lover ( as in you don't drink shitty beer) then this might be the golden age of beer. There are now literally thousands of microbreweries and microbrew bars out there now. I also home brew and honestly, its actually hard to make a bad beer if you follow a recipe.

    There seems to be a big shift that is slowly happening these days. As of now, most Americans still drink shitty beer. But that is all changing because people are coming to realize that beer can be as complex and interesting as wine. It doesn't have to be like white bread and hot dogs.

    A few years ago I went to a festival where all of the beer had been aged in used bourbon, wine, and port barrels. You wanna' talk about some good beer, that beer was amazingly good.

  9. CMY


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    9   9:39am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    edvard2 says

    As of now, most Americans still drink shitty beer.

    I'm a homebrewer as well, but I think most of it comes down to availability and taste knowledge. When you're out and about, and you see Bud Light next to some craft beer you've never heard of, it's a no-brainer.

    I'm slowly working on enlightening my friends, which is about all one can do. Clearly AB InBev is hurting a bit, even if they don't (read: never) want to admit it.

  10. New Renter


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    10   9:43am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    edvard2 says

    If you are a beer lover ( as in you don't drink shitty beer) then this might be the golden age of beer. There are now literally thousands of microbreweries and microbrew bars out there now. I also home brew and honestly, its actually hard to make a bad beer if you follow a recipe.

    There seems to be a big shift that is slowly happening these days. As of now, most Americans still drink shitty beer. But that is all changing because people are coming to realize that beer can be as complex and interesting as wine. It doesn't have to be like white bread and hot dogs.

    A few years ago I went to a festival where all of the beer had been aged in used bourbon, wine, and port barrels. You wanna' talk about some good beer, that beer was amazingly good.

    I like fermenting as well, although my thing is cider. I did look into beer brewing but couldn't justify it on a cost basis. It's way cheaper (and easier) for me to buy the good stuff on sale rather than brew my own. Same for wine.

    Cider on the other hand still has a ways to go quality wise. There ARE some good ones out there but most are watered down apple wine. Kind of like BL

  11. edvard2


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    11   9:45am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    CMY says

    I'm a homebrewer as well, but I think most of it comes down to availability and taste knowledge.

    I think it might be because a lot of Americans look at beer in the same way as mustard, ketchup, and toilet paper: Brand familiarity. That and beer in the US has for so long mostly been lagers that most have very little idea that there's actually other beers beyond what they "classically" think of as beer. As in "Beer tastes like ( fill in with large huge brewer that makes lager brand)

    After having made my own beer and also having only drunk microbrew for the past 10 years, I recently had one of those big brand lagers. It was amazing how bad the stuff really was and I couldn't help but wonder how in the hell it ever got to be that popular.

  12. edvard2


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    12   9:47am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    New Renter says

    I like fermenting as well, although my thing is cider. I did look into beer brewing but couldn't justify it on a cost basis. It's way cheaper (and easier) for me to buy the good stuff on sale rather than brew my own. Same for wine.

    Nah. Its all about startup costs. Expect to spend anywhere from $75-$150 for your typical glass carboy, plastic buckets, tubing, yeast, ingredients, cleaners, and so on.

    Here's what I calculated: around here your typical 6-pack of microbrew is anywhere from $7-$10. That works out to be about $1.50 per bottle. If you make your own, once the startup costs are over with you're looking at around 25 cents per bottle. Hard cider is super easy though. $20 and you're done. Just buy the crappiest apple juice on sale.

  13. zzyzzx


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    13   9:57am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    edvard2 says

    It was amazing how bad the stuff really was and I couldn't help but wonder how in the hell it ever got to be that popular.

    Probably has a lot to do with how many brewers went out of business during prohibition.

  14. edvard2


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    14   10:16am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    zzyzzx says

    Probably has a lot to do with how many brewers went out of business during prohibition.

    I read a book about this and what's interesting is that a lot of the reason lager became so popular in the US was because during the 1840's there was a strong temperance movement that swept the country. Prior to that, ales and stronger type beers brought over from Germany and England were the most popular. Seeing as how lager are usually such low alcohol beers, they were deemed as "harmless" or ok to drink by the various temperance movements.

    Large "Lager halls" were then very popular afterwards. It was after that time that the large, famous breweries of today made their marks and made lager the beer of the US. But even more so, there was a general change in taste after WW2: Americans then tended to like more bland and neutral flavors. More rice started to be used in beer and the taste was more tame. Many people don't realize that the Lager they drink today from the big brewers is VERY different from the lager those same brands used to make.

    So hence the long-term domination of the large lager brands. Now that seems to be changing and there has been a "re-discover" of beer with the most popular seeming to be IPAs and strong ales.

  15. Philistine


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    15   10:57am Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Maker's Mark just recently pulled a stunt where they announced reduction from 45% to 42% in their bourbon. There was a major outcry (bourbon drinkers tend to be feistier than beer sloshers) and they announced last week they were reversing the decision because of how negative the reaction had been and would continue making the original 45% formula.

    Now I think it was just a cheap marketing ploy.

    Southern Comfort also reduced their original ABV from 38% to 35% sometime back around 2002.

    It seems to be the Big Business thing to do: water down the product and keep charging the same price. This applies, nota bene, to all manner of products nowadays: shrinking potato chip bags, lower octane premium gas, uglier hookers, etc.--but all at the same or increasing prices.

  16. New Renter


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    16   12:29pm Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Philistine says

    Maker's Mark just recently pulled a stunt where they announced reduction from 45% to 42% in their bourbon. There was a major outcry (bourbon drinkers tend to be feistier than beer sloshers) and they announced last week they were reversing the decision because of how negative the reaction had been and would continue making the original 45% formula.

    Now I think it was just a cheap marketing ploy.

    Southern Comfort also reduced their original ABV from 38% to 35% sometime back around 2002.

    It seems to be the Big Business thing to do: water down the product and keep charging the same price. This applies, nota bene, to all manner of products nowadays: shrinking potato chip bags, lower octane premium gas, uglier hookers, etc.--but all at the same or increasing prices.

    Take a regular spirit, water it down and call it (or at least insinuate it as) a reduced calorie version. Works for lite beers, and Skinny Girl vodka.

  17. New Renter


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    17   1:07pm Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    edvard2 says

    If you make your own, once the startup costs are over with you're looking at around 25 cents per bottle. Hard cider is super easy though. $20 and you're done. Just buy the crappiest apple juice on sale.

    Looking through my MoreBeer catalog I see the beer kits run about $30-50 (with yeast) to make a batch of 5 gallons. 5 gallons make about 53 12oz beers. Once you include the bottles ($13 for 24) you're looking at about $1.10 to $1.50/beer. This is the price of the consumables only, no labor or capital costs. That's about the same price as buying off the shelf.

    Granted those costs probably come down with kegging and cheaper ingredients.

    Homebrew: $0.56-$0.93/beer if kegged

    Commercial: A 15.5 keg (165 bottles) of beer from BevMo runs anywhere from $75 (bud lite) to $180 (Gordon Biersch) making the breakdown $0.45/beer to $1.10/beer.

    Still once you factor in your labor and amortize the capital costs its hard to justify homebrewing on a costs basis, especially if you don't drink THAT much beer.

    As for cider I think if you were to make hard cider from cheap apple juice you'd end up with nothing better (and probably worse) than the worst of the commercial ciders. I can tell you that nothing beats fresh pressed juice from home grown apples you have picked and processed yourself. It is a LOT of work though. A LOT.

    Did I mention it's a LOT of work?

  18. Quigley


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    18   1:40pm Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I rarely I ever drink the shitty macro brews like Bud and Miller. If I have to, I will drink Coors. Other than that, it's micro brews all the way. Much better quality and the price ain't that much higher.

    Right now I'm brewing myself a batch of Amber ale in a 6 gallon bucket in my garage. Saturday is bottling day, and I've saved about 30 of the 22 oz. bottles (dark glass) that I prefer. Two weeks from then I'll be drinking my own brew! Cheaper, too, just costs more in time washing bottles and brewing wort. But it's a labor of love, so I don't really mind. :)

  19. edvard2


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    19   1:41pm Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    New Renter says

    Looking through my MoreBeer catalog I see the beer kits run about $30-50 (with yeast) to make a batch of 5 gallons.

    I don't buy the kits. Instead, if there's a microbrew I like, chances are there's a recipe online to show you how to make that beer. I also never throw away bottles. I have a rack to dry them once I rinse them out. Whenever I clean them I clean them once the rack is full with a diluted solution of iodine. I have several 5 gallon glass jugs. I've been doing this for about 7 years and once you have your bottles, equipment, and so on, the costs are minimal.

    Is it a lot of work? Yes but to me its a lot of fun too. I just sit outside with the boiler drinking beer and waiting for the timer to beep when its time to add more ingredients.

  20. New Renter


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    20   2:49pm Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    edvard2 says

    New Renter says

    Looking through my MoreBeer catalog I see the beer kits run about $30-50 (with yeast) to make a batch of 5 gallons.

    I don't buy the kits. Instead, if there's a microbrew I like, chances are there's a recipe online to show you how to make that beer. I also never throw away bottles. I have a rack to dry them once I rinse them out. Whenever I clean them I clean them once the rack is full with a diluted solution of iodine. I have several 5 gallon glass jugs. I've been doing this for about 7 years and once you have your bottles, equipment, and so on, the costs are minimal.

    Is it a lot of work? Yes but to me its a lot of fun too. I just sit outside with the boiler drinking beer and waiting for the timer to beep when its time to add more ingredients.

    Fair enough. Where do you buy your ingredients?

    BTW I used to bottle myself but have switched to kegging. Kegging is MUCH easier!

  21. epitaph


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    21   2:49pm Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    PBR is and will always be my favorite macro.

  22. edvard2


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    22   2:55pm Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Not sure why PBR got to be so popular. My Uncle loves the stuff but I think its just sorta ok. Not great, but not as bad as the other stuff.

    Oh- I buy my ingredients from a place called Oak Barrel in Berkeley. But There might be something out towards San Jose.

  23. New Renter


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    23   3:09pm Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    edvard2 says

    Oh- I buy my ingredients from a place called Oak Barrel in Berkeley. But There might be something out towards San Jose.

    Thanks for the source. The prices at Oak Barrel are comparable to those at MoreBeer over in MV.

    One of these days I may just have to try making beer.

  24. varmint


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    24   3:21pm Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    New Renter says

    Thanks for the source. The prices at Oak Barrel are comparable to those at MoreBeer over in MV.

    There are a couple spots over in San Leandro too. Depending on what you need it may be cheaper to buy equipment from one place and grain from another. You may also find that the differences in prices for grain are small enough that it's not worth it to waste gas driving past the nearest place.

  25. dublin hillz


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    25   4:36pm Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    I like good beer, preferrably with 7% or more alcohol content. Sometimes, I like to have a couple of shots of vodka with it to decipher the true taste . . .

  26. Strategic Renter


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    26   5:55pm Wed 27 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    All American Mass produced beer is nasty. Craft beer or European beer are the only ones I drink.

  27. New Renter


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    27   7:45am Thu 28 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Strategic Renter says

    All American Mass produced beer is nasty. Craft beer or European beer are the only ones I drink.

    Nasty yes, but cheaper. Anyway after 2-3 who can tell anymore?

  28. CaptainShuddup


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    28   8:40am Thu 28 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I always thought PBR tasted like armpits smell.

  29. gbenson


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    29   11:27am Thu 28 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    If you can see through the glass, it ain't beer.

  30. thunderlips11


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    30   8:45am Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike   Protected  

    MoneySheep says

    dilute its popular brands of beer

    Agua de Arroz wasn't watered down to begin with?

    I like my Ale Brown, like my women.

    New Renter says

    One of these days I may just have to try making beer.

    Do it man! It's easier than you think. The really annoying part is the bottling.
    http://www.midwestsupplies.com/

  31. APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch


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    31   11:08am Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    I started drinking Labatt's Blue during the Schlitz catastrophe of 1977 and have drunk all manner of regional brews from Canada and the US - anything but the big ones like Bud, Miller, Lite, etc.

    I haven't taste Bud in a decade but I know I could improve the flavor by taking a shit in the vat before it's bottled.

  32. Quigley


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    32   11:47am Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I'm using Midwest as well, thunderlips. They seem reliable and committed to quality. And the bottling I've found to be easier (less work) if you use 22 oz. bottles. Less washing, less capping, and they don't take much more time to fill. My five gallon recipe (4.5 after siphon) made 22 of those bottles full of delicious Amber ale. It took me about 30 minutes to bottle that yesterday.

  33. AverageBear


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    33   7:25am Tue 19 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Any brewer/beer company that makes their beer with rice (!) can piss up a rope. Think Miller, Bud and most large domestics... I'll stick to the Bavarians w/ their beer purity laws (Augustiner, Spaten, Lowenbrau(sp?), and some micros here out east; Harpoon, Magic Hat, and Sam (not so micro anymore).....

  34. AverageBear


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    34   7:37am Tue 19 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    CaptainShuddup says

    They [inBev] bought AB for the distribution. Distributorships in Ameirca are tough and
    closed, there will never be no more than what we have. So the only way to become
    a distributor in Ameirca is to acquire an existing one.
    Since the InBev
    acquisition, Ameirca now has a greater selection of beer that we never had until
    then. There are great beers from all over the world, that we would not have now,
    if not for InBev. Before them it was the same limited selection of American
    crappy beers, now even Gas stations, have a greater selection than most Package
    stores had pre InBev.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Cap'n, you bring up a great point. When it comes to beverages, (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), it's ALL about distribution. It's like Reagan telling Bud/Miller in the 80's.... 'Tear down that wall!!' for the beer drinkers. HAHHA....

    On a similar note, you mentioning InBev's distribution 'end-run' reminds me of Coca Cola. Some friends of mine scoff at me when I'm a big believer and investor in Coca Cola (KO). KO 'owns' the 'super-highway' of beverage distribution. It's a slow grower for sure. But they raise their dividends by 10% like clock-work every year, and slowly grow. And when they see an emerging market (bottled water, energy drinks, vitamin water, etc), they simply buy out the compeition, imitate them, or don't let them in on the distribution and stunt the competitors growth. This is a true moat (unlike Apple) that few can duplicate.... So if/when we get a correction/crash, I'll be there to buy KO on sale. Because no crash, world war, Oil Embargo, etc has ever stopped KO before.... KO will be one of the branches in my money tree....

  35. Dan8267


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    35   8:37am Tue 19 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Isn't watered down horse piss an improvement?

  36. CaptainShuddup


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    36   8:42am Tue 19 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Yeah but Coke quit being Coke years ago as well.
    There's another instance where a billionaire international investor could buy Coke a cola, and I would guarantee that it would be an improvement. I would wager, that they would revert to Coke's original formula, and offshoot the shit COKE has been passing off for years as Coke, as some generic brand for Stores. They would probably turn Gatorade back to Gatorade, and not this shit with big "G" and a lightening bolt on the bottle.

    Fuck the last time I drank a Gatorade when I had a fever, it only made more dehydrated.

    American beverages have gotten so fucking shitty in the last 10 years or more, that I primarily drink ice water, for a cold beverage.

    YET every time I see Pepsi throw back products, I buy them and can drink them exclusively.

    I WISH a foreign company would buy COKE, serves them fucking right.

    Like Budweiser, things would start to improve then.

  37. AverageBear


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    37   11:00am Tue 19 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    WCaptainShuddup says

    Yeah but Coke quit being Coke years ago as well.

    There's another instance where a billionaire international investor could buy Coke a cola, and I would guarantee that it would be an improvement. I would wager, that they would revert to Coke's original formula, and offshoot the shit COKE has been passing off for years as Coke, as some generic brand for Stores. They would probably turn Gatorade back to Gatorade, and not this shit with big "G" and a lightening bolt on the bottle.

    Fuck the last time I drank a Gatorade when I had a fever, it only made more dehydrated.

    American beverages have gotten so fucking shitty in the last 10 years or more, that I primarily drink ice water, for a cold beverage.

    YET every time I see Pepsi throw back products, I buy them and can drink them exclusively.

    I WISH a foreign company would buy COKE, serves them fucking right.

    Like Budweiser, things would start to improve then.

    Well Cap'n , I'm talking about KO as an investment. I don't consume coke, McDonald's, or Marlboros, but they are great dividend companies to invest in. Let the suckers eat/drink/smoke this stuff. I'll take the growing dividends and capital appreciation and call it a day...Buffett owns KO for a reason. Personally, my soda of choice is half Polar seltzer and half Wymann's blueberry juice....

  38. CaptainShuddup


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    38   7:25pm Tue 19 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    AverageBear says

    Personally, my soda of choice is half Polar seltzer and half Wymann's blueberry juice....

    That sounds pretty damn good.

  39. APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch


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    39   7:27pm Tue 19 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Check out Rasberry Lime Polar Seltzer and lemonade - fast version of a lime rickey. Oh, yes, the outlaw life can be delicious!

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